Ogie Alcasid grateful at 50

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The singer-songwriter says he is at a stage in life where he is grateful for everything INSTAGRAM PHOTO

OPM icon stages benefit birthday concert ‘Nakakalokal’ at Kia Theater tonight

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A quick glance at multi-hyphenate artist Ogie Alcasid will not easily give away his true age. With his boyish charm and physique, it will be quite a surprise for many to learn that he is actually hitting the big five-oh on August 27. Youthful as he looks, however, the wisdom he has gained and the sheer talent he has steeled in his 30 years in show business are the most evident of all.

Not only is Alcasid one of the most effective comedic actors in the country—pioneering classic Filipino gag shows “Tropang Turumpo” and “Bubble Gang” —but he is also considered a skilled host lending his talent to GMA’s games shows such as “Celebrity Duets: Philippine Edition,” and “Da Big Show.”

Arguably, though, he is best known as Philippine music’s beloved “Singer-Songwriter,” with such iconic hits as “Nandito Ako,” “Sa Kanya,” “Ikaw Sana,” and “Kung Mawawala Ka” among a long list of chart toppers

Alcasid also earned the moniker, “The Hitmaker” for, unknown to many, he composed some of the most well-loved ballads in the country such as Pops Fernadez and Freestyle’s “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang,” Gary Valenciano’s “Ikaw Lamang,” and Martin Nievera’s “Ikaw Ang Pangarap,” to mention just a few.

Then of course, there are the likes of “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw,” “Pangako Sa’yo” “Pangarap Ko Ang Ibigin Ka,” which he wrote for his then dear friend and now cherished wife Regine Velasquez.

To date, Alcasid has amassed 12 Gold Records, three Platinum Records, and three Double platinum records for various albums.

To this day, there is no stopping Alcasid from making more music with the release of his latest album “Nakakalokal” in collaboration with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, but then again, the singer-songwriter admits he is at a stage of his career where he no long wants to juggle too many endeavors.

“I am at a stage of my career where I don’t want to do too many things. Instead, I just want to enjoy my kids first—my 19-year old is home now; I have a five-year-old who thinks he’s 33; and of course there’s my middle child,” Alcasid noted, pertaining to his children with former wife Michelle van Eimeren and with current spouse Velasquez.

“Also, I enjoy being a husband to my wife,” Alcasid added.

Over all, Alcasid pinpoints gratefulness as the philosophy he will keep with him as he soon becomes a “quinquagenarian.”

“I am at a stage in my life where everything is about being grateful—from the moment I wake up, until I shut my eyes, I am very grateful,” the singer proudly shared.

As such, Alcasid finds it only apt to stage a benefit concert in celebration of his 50th birthday tonight at Kia Theater.

“It is very special, what better way for me to celebrate than to give back,” the singer-actor said.

Titled “Nakakalokal” after his current album, the concert will also feature a star-studded line up including Angeline Quinto, Basti Artadi, Davey Langit, Erik Santos, Iñigo Pascual, Jaya, Kyla, Lara Maigue, Leila Alcasid, Lovi Poe, Men and Music, Solenn Heussaff, and Yeng Constantino.

The concert’s beneficiary will be World Vision, an international child-focused humanitarian aid organization whose local counterpart Alcasid has been supporting since 2009. Particularly, Nakakalokal will support the organization’s “It Takes a World to End Sexual Exploitation against Children” campaign.

At the press conference for Nakakalokal, Alcasid fondly shared how his partnership with World Vision started.

“I remember encountering them for the first time when I was still doing Bubble Gang, and we entertained their beneficiaries. But the actual partnership came about in 2009 when they invited me and my wife to be ambassadors,” the singer reminisced.

Since then, Alcasid has been exposed to the many ways he can help Filipino children like sponsoring a child or using his influence to rally support for their projects.

He said that among his activities for World Vision, one outreach program stands out, not only because it was the first he took on, but also because he has diligently rolls out the same project every time his birthday comes.

“One of the first things I did for them was to visit an indigent community in Zambales. I remember going to their church and they didn’t have their own instruments – they were using tree branches for drumsticks. So, when we returned, we brought a sound system for them and they played for me. So that has been going on for some years,” the songwriter divulged.

Finally asked by The Manila Times how his involvement with World Vision changed him as a person, Alcasid first shared a tangible reminder from the community he has served.

“The kids once gave me a poster where everyone signed their name. It has a very special place in my room and whenever I go in, I always look at that picture, iba yung bakas ng kasiyahan ko nung nandoon ako.”

More than that, Alcasid said the children of World Vision have inspired him to act on his gratefulness.

“They have reminded me that we should act and do something, we can’t just be grateful. For me, it’s World Vision, for others it could be anything else. But bottom line is, you need to serve, you cannot just sit back and be grateful,” Alcasid ended.

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